Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Week: Kameilah Allen

JACKSON, Tenn. — Kameilah Allen is on a mission to teach 9th and 10th graders the art of the English language.

“I love the language. I love the origins of English. I love how it changes from year to year due to the influence of other cultures and other people,” Allen said.

Allen was nominated by one of her own students to be the Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Week. She teaches at Jackson Central-Merry Early College High School.

Her inspiration for teaching comes from her own high school teacher, who she said brought her out of her shell and told her she would be a gifted educator.

“The teacher told me, ‘I think you’d be a great teacher,’ and I said, ‘Why would you say that?’ And she said because you’re very passionate and you like to take your time and make sure people understand, and you have heart for that, so just try it out.’ And I did, and I fell in love with it,” Allen said.

This is Allen’s first year at JCM Early College High, but she has 13 other years of teaching in Shelby County. She’s also furthering her own education, soon to finish a doctoral degree from the University of Memphis.

The most important thing about her classroom: “I love to have students come to an environment that’s conducive to learning. They feel at home, they feel comfortable, and they know they’re in the presence of someone who knows and who cares and wants them to succeed. It makes all the difference,” Allen said.

Allen will now be eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery’s Educator of the Month award. Starting in February, to vote for her or any of the other nominees, visit www.seehowitaddsup.com.